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Pamela Harless

Chief People & Culture Officer
Grant Thornton LLP

Pamela Harless is the chief people & culture officer of Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms.

Executive summary

Harless, a member of the firm’s Senior Leadership Team, spearheaded Grant Thornton’s people-first culture journey, and is accountable for the firm’s hire-to-retire talent processes. Specific areas of leadership include talent acquisition, HR strategy, delivery and operations, learning and development, performance management and leadership succession, diversity and inclusion, talent analytics and alumni relations. She also provides support to select clients interested in evolving their own cultures.

Throughout her nearly 25 years of experience, she has focused on successful cultural and operational transformations, including developing measurable employee engagement, retention and productivity programs. Through her leadership in designing and executing transformational efforts, Grant Thornton has been consistently recognized for its progressive policies and culture of flexibility.

Working Mother magazine has named Grant Thornton to its annual 100 Best Companies list for 11 consecutive years and Crain’s Chicago Business named Grant Thornton one of Chicago’s 2016 Best Places to Work. The firm has also earned a top-four finish on the 2017 Vault Accounting 50 rankings of best places to work in accounting and ranked second for best firm culture. Grant Thornton has also been named to the National Association for Female Executives' list of Top Companies for Executive Women.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Harless led her own capital management consulting firm, advising clients on aligning talent strategies and investments with business objectives. She held a number of talent management and human resources roles with increasing responsibility at Capgemini. Harless has also worked with multiple professional services firms, including Andersen Consulting and Ernst & Young LLP, as a management consultant, serving clients in the telecommunications, media and entertainment, utilities and energy industries. She also served as the chief operating officer of Lucernex Technologies.

Qualifications and memberships

Harless is a member of the National Association for Female Executives and Diversity Best Practices. She received Woman of the Year honors from the National Association of Professional Women. She is a sought-after speaker on the topics of the evolving workforce, Millennials, diversity and inclusion, and progressive talent management practices.


Harless received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.

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